Living room revamp - before and after...

Hands up who loves a good 'before and after' interiors feature? Well I do, so I thought I'd show you how I recently transformed our living room from its dull and monochrome old state to a fun, cosy space full of pop colours... 

We moved into our 4-bed house back in 2010, from a 2-bed loft apartment in a former factory in Hackney. This is an important fact in helping you visualise the dilemma we faced: trying to fit big 'lofty' furniture and accessories from a spacious modern minimalist flat to a cosy (read narrow) 3-storey townhouse with about half of the ceiling height... Well, we tried, we failed, and we bought a whole bunch of new stuff is how I would best describe how we tackled the problem...

Thankfully, no one was harmed and no big credit card was maxed out in the process (well, almost...). It actually happened in three stages:

1. The first stage of the revamp was essentially moving what we already had (minus a few big items we sold as there was NO WAY they could have fitted in the new living area) and style the new house with a mix of already owned modern furniture and a few things we bought from IKEA to get us going for a few weeks. Needless to say, this worked for a little while but after a few months I felt something was missing but I wasn't sure exactly what. 

 Before: how the sitting area in our new house used to look like...

Before: how the sitting area in our new house used to look like...

 Before: The main living area before revamp

Before: The main living area before revamp

 Before: the dining area in its old monochrome style

Before: the dining area in its old monochrome style

2. The second stage was basically repainting the entire living room in grey. This at the time was a MASSIVE step for me and although now I am totally obsessed with colours, I remember having a mild stroke when the painter actually started applying what looked like black paint on my pristine white walls! But it was the best thing I could have done to the room. Contrary to the myth that dark colours make a room look smaller, it had the opposite effect. It made the room look more spacious and it also kind of 'dressed it'. Grey as a backdrop also makes accessories pop in a way that just doesn't happen with white walls. 

3. The third and final stage, happened gradually over the following few months because of budget constraints. We sold the sofa (too cream!), and the dining chairs (too white!), moved the coffee table and floor lamp to the study, and bought a new sofa, a comfortable ottoman instead of a coffee table, the pink patchwork Kilim rug, and the Moroccan poufs (I did mention my style was eclectic?!). See the results below. I didn't really have a theme in mind but I wanted to move away from the modern monochrome look and make the room look bold, dramatic and mainly cosy as this is where we spend most of our time as a family. I added texture with the velvet sofa and ottoman and the 'amour' neon light just finished up the look. 

If you like what you see, I have created a moodboard of the sitting area and a shopping list so you can recreate the look! Scroll down and you can start, erm, shopping my own living room...

 Final stage of the transformation, after replacing the furniture and accessories. 

Final stage of the transformation, after replacing the furniture and accessories. 

 Despite repainting the walls in a dark colour, the room actually looks more spacious...

Despite repainting the walls in a dark colour, the room actually looks more spacious...

 The dining area after the revamp

The dining area after the revamp

Recreate the look! 

I often get asked where some of the furniture in my living room is from. Some pieces like the Furniture Village sofa (bargain central!) are no longer stocked so I created a mood board and a shopping list with similar items as affordable as possible so you basically shop the room online and recreate the look without going bankrupt (hopefully). Follow the links under the image to source each item. 

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